Fernando Santos

SAN ANTONIO, TX, USA U.S. Army SSG, COMPANY A, 2D BATTALION, 3D INFANTRY, FORT LEWIS, WA BAGHDAD, IRAQ 08/02/2007

SSG Fernando Santos entered into rest on August 2, 2007 in Baghdad, Iraq. He was born March 31, 1978 in San Antonio. Santos, 29, was serving a second deployment to Iraq. He was to return home in June but his tour was extended until October.

Santos, Specialist Cristian Rojas Gallego, 24, of Loganville, Ga., and Specialist Eric Salinas, 25, of Houston were killed in eastern Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle, the Defense Department said.

Santos was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

He attended John Jay High School but did not graduate. He earned a general equivalency diploma later.

Santos was killed along with two others by an IED blast while patrolling the streets of Baghdad. Santos was given the Purple Heart and bronze star for his sacrifice.

Loved ones said they remember Santos as a leader of men and a devoted family man.

Among those who attended were Mayor Phil Hardberger, his wife Linda, and councilwoman Delicia Herrera The parents of other soldiers who were killed in Iraq also attended the funeral.

Kimberly Rairdan, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2005, said her son wanted her to be there.

“I know that my son wants me to give back in some small way,” Rairdan said. “For me, this is one of the small ways I can give back.

Survivors include his wife, Adonia; children, Paul, Daniel, Iliana and Victor; his father, Gilbert Santos; 6 brothers; Gilbert, Jr., Eric, Leroy, Anthony, Diego and Joseph; 1 sister; Genesis; an uncle, Daniel Santos; numerous nieces and nephews

Fernando’s portrait is also located on Poster 3